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Connecting Caregivers to Make Caring Easier

A survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found approximately 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older in the last 12 months, while 43.5 million provided unpaid care to an adult or child the same 12-month period. How can technology connect caregivers to share important information?

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Connecting Caregivers to Make Caring Easier

A survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found approximately 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older in the last 12 months, while 43.5 million provided unpaid care to an adult or child the same 12-month period. How can technology connect caregivers to share important information?
50M
people impacted
$1.7T
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

According to estimates from the National Alliance for Caregiving, during the past year, 65.7 million Americans (or 29 percent of the adult U.S. adult population involving 31 percent of all U.S. households) served as family caregivers for an ill or disabled relative.

How Many Caregivers in the U.S.?

  • Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

  • About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

  • The majority of caregivers (82%) care for one other adult, while 15% care for 2 adults, and 3% for 3 or more adults. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

  • Approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or illness or 16.6% of Americans. [Coughlin, J. (2010). Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on Well-Being: Outcomes & Insights in Health Management.]

  • About 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone who has Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. [Alzheimer's Association. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures.]

Symptoms and Causes

Caregiving Tasks

  • On average, caregivers spend:

    • 13 days each month on tasks such as shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and giving medication;

    • 6 days per month on feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, bathing, and assistance toileting;

    • 13 hours per month researching care services or information on disease, coordinating physician visits or managing financial matters. [Gallup-Healthways. (2011). Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.]

  • Of family caregivers who provide complex chronic care:

    • 46% perform medical and nursing tasks;

    • More than 96% provide help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as personal hygiene, dressing and undressing, getting in and out of bed, or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) such as taking prescribed medications, shopping for groceries, transportation, or using technology, or both. [AARP and United Health Hospital Fund. (2012). Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.]

  • On average, caregivers perform 1.7 of 6 ADLs, most commonly getting in and out of beds and chairs (43%). [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

  • On average, caregivers perform 4.2 of 7 IADLs, most commonly transportation (78%), grocery or other shopping (76%), and housework (72%). [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

  • 57% of caregivers report that they do not have a choice about performing clinical tasks, and that this lack of choice is self-imposed.

    • 43% feel that these tasks are their personal responsibility because no one else can do it or because insurance will not pay for a professional caregiver.

    • 12% report that they are pressured to perform these tasks by the care receiver.

    • 8% report that they are pressured to perform these tasks by another family member. [AARP and United Health Hospital Fund. (2012). Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.]

  • Caregivers report holding significant decision-making authority regarding the following:

    • Monitoring of the care recipient’s condition and adjusting care (66%);

    • Communicating with healthcare professionals on behalf of the care recipient (63%);

    • Acting as an advocate for the care recipient with care providers, community services, or government agencies (50%). [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]

the impact
Negative Effects
Economic Impact

Economic Value

  • The value of services provided by informal caregivers has steadily increased over the last decade, with an estimated economic value of $470 billion in 2013, up from $450 billion in 2009 and $375 billion in 2007. [AARP Public Policy Institute. (2015). Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.]

  • At $470 billion in 2013, the value of unpaid caregiving exceeded the value of paid home care and total Medicaid spending in the same year, and nearly matched the value of the sales of the world’s largest company, Wal-Mart ($477 billion). [AARP Public Policy Institute. (2015). Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.]

  • The economic value of the care provided by unpaid caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias was $217.7 billion in 2014. [Alzheimer's Association. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures.]

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Contributors to this Page

Sierra Briscoe - www.linkedin.com/in/sierrabriscoe